Update 10: Pacing! [90% CUTSCENE]
Meanwhile, back in space…
So one thing I wasn’t entirely clear on is that basically, Center 7 does magic plastic surgery on the people that finish their “training” to make them into a different person. Giselle mentions this during one of her walls of text back like four updates ago and I missed it in between her restating the same shit over and over.
Kane then goes on about fifteen lines of Star Trek pseudo-technical speak that adds nothing to the story. Pacing!
Oh, and then this little tidit. Giselle mentions this in another one of her walls of text somewhere. Honestly, I kind of wish I did this as a video LP because at this point I’d do “Gemini Rue only every time there’s a completely un-necessary line of dialog it gets faster”. Kane follows up with some pseudo-intellectual bullshit about “Would you really want your memories back what if you were a bad person” which is just kinda… yeah. The game’s writing has COMPLETELY gone to shit here and I’m not even going to pretend it hasn’t.
Okay, let me just explain why this is dumb. There are FOUR PEOPLE on your ship, Kane. FOUR. That’s a number you can count to on one hand and still have a finger left over.
Oh and then there’s this shitty excuse for a puzzle to break up what is otherwise an overly long cutscene. Basically, you have to get the center of the crosshair aligned with the red dot.
When you get about halfway there, the screen dies and Azriel has to kick it to restart it. You then get to do this stupid excuse for a puzzle a second time. Pacing!
We enter Center 7 from the last room we saw Delta Six in - if you’ll remember, he got shot in the hallway leading up to this room after helping Sayuri escape.
There’s only one way to go here - don’t get this segment mistaken for gameplay, it’s 100% a cutscene. Sayuri will complain if you attempt to go anywhere but here. Now we’re back in the same room Delta Six was mindwiped in after his escape attempt. I cut out about oh… twenty images of going here and then having to ask Sayuri to open every single door in the way?
By the way, everything went to absolute shit here since Sayuri escaped. There are dead bodies everywhere, and a dumb Resident Evil puzzle where Azriel has to shoot a light to stop an electrified puddle.
Oh and then we have to get a keycard off the dead guy in this room to get into the mindwipe chamber. There, I just saved you about eight minutes of cutscene. You’re welcome.
: “What’s your brother’s name? I’ll try to find his cell.”
: “His name is Daniel. Daniel Odin.”
: “Okay… I’m scanning this station’s manifest for lifeforms. That’s funny… none of the station’s crew are showing up on the list.”
: “What about the prisoners?”
: “Yes. They’re here. His name is Daniel Odin?”
: “That can’t be right. There’s nobody here by that name.”
So at this point, if Sayuri had an ounce of goddamn sense (which she doesn’t, given that she just took a ship to the mindwipe facility she escaped from with three men who she only just met) she’d probably pull a knife and jam it into Azriel’s gut. I mean, wouldn’t you be suspicious as all hell if the brother just doesn’t exist?
: “They couldn’t have taken him anywhere else. Maybe they didn’t update the database. Maybe he’s on another drive.”
Moreover, why do they have giant ENIAC style computers in a futuristic space station?
: “I can look in the next room, but I have to look someone up first. When I was here before, there was a patient called Delta Six. He was the one who got me out of here.”
So basically, the file just tells us what we already know - Delta Six was shot attempting to escape and was later mindwiped and sold to the mafia as an assassin. What is it with bad games and having their main characters be assassins?
The door to the left (which Sayuri must manually unlock because Pacing!) leads to an identical mindwipe room, only this one is more damaged. No surprise then that Sayuri doesn’t find anything about Azriel’s supposed brother in here either.
: “There’s a series of locked drives in the director’s office. We’ll have to go there in person to access them. Wait… there’s another file on Delta Six here.”
So, for some reason this room has a hologram projector which displays the moment Delta Six was mindwiped.
The rest is more pseudo-intellectual garbage about predetermined fate. The last guy I heard talk about this was a roommate I had in college who stapled a dead bird to the common room wall. He was a paranoid schizophrenic who refused to take his meds because “that’s not what God wants for me.” True story, by the way.
The room to the left is the director’s office. Surprise, it’s completely dark.
So before I continue on with the dialogue here, I’d like to mention one thing. Remember how when Azriel talked to the Boryokudan boss and I skipped over like 2/3 of that shit, the Boryokudan director mentioned that this place was originally used by the government on criminals before being taken over by the Boryokudan? Yeah, the writer (who is also the only developer) kinda forgot about that and just re-wrote it to be that the Director went insane and murdered everyone.
By the way, one thing you might ask is “If Azriel can see the Director through the Portal-style window, why doesn’t the Director have a dialogue portrait? Did the dev’s art budget just dry up?” The answer is actually no - the Director DOES have a portrait… which he uses for his final 5 lines of dialogue. Yeah. I’m just going to spoiler it because I think I’ve found something more appropriate and less ridiculous-looking for him at this point.
: “The little assassin who went out to be a big boy and work for the Boryokudan.”
: “But no, no no no no no no no…”
: “You had to screw everything up, didn’t you?”
: “You know what happens when customers get defunct products?”
: “They get recalled. You know how? I put fail-safes in them.”
: “You know… desirable objects. Lost lovers, objects of power, missing family members…”
: “You must know by now. Your name isn’t Azriel. There’s no such person as Azriel Odin. I created him.”
: “I programmed your entire past, your entire… being, your personality.”
: “I made you think that you were Azriel Odin. But… I am happy to see you again, Delta Six.”
So yeah, if you hadn’t already guessed it, this game only actually has six characters. Delta Six and Azriel are the same person. Epsilon Five and Sayuri, also same person. As for Balder…
He’s busy holding up Kane at gunpoint. I am not shitting you when I say the next fifty screenshots are the Director monologuing about pseudo-intellectual bullshit and “fate”. There are a couple of vaguely important lines though that show this entire scene was re-written.
: “I think I know why you were a failed item. It’s because you have a conscience. Fortunately, we have a way to wipe that now.”
: “Remember the Gemini War? What you did there? Maybe we need to make you do that again, until we desensitize you to it.”
I kinda paraphrased that, but it’s close enough. I’d also like to mention that it’s a plot hole. According to the game’s own text logs, the Gemini War happened ten years ago. Delta Six was mindwiped a year ago. There’s almost no way that it’s even possible he fought in the war.
Magic pink knockout gas gets released. Now, you’re probably wondering, as I am: if the Director had magic pink knockout gas the entire time, why didn’t he use it to subdue Delta Six during the escape sequence instead of having a bunch of clones go in, potentially fucking up his entire plan which required that he deliver every single one of his mindwiped patients on time? Hint: It’s because the writer sucks.
Anyway, Sayuri wakes up in a cell next to Kane. You have to open a grate between the cells and talk to it to find this out, after which Sayuri literally recites the ENTIRE PLOT up to this point in a 50+ line epic of Pacing!
So remember how Delta Six had a pipe in his toilet tank? Kane has one in his - and to get him to take it, we need to use no fewer than twelve clicks. The first click on Kane always activates the same dialogue.
: “Kane, can you do something for me?”
The first three clicks get Kane to open the grate between the cells on his side. The second set of three gets him to take the lid off his toilet. The third set of three gets him to look inside the toilet tank and find a pipe. The fourth set gets him to somehow slide the pipe through the grate to Sayuri.
Sayuri then has to use another four clicks to open a broken panel on the wall, allowing her to step right on through into Crash Bandicoot.
I wish I could just answer “yes”. Kane is supposed to be a cop, yet he’s so incompetent that he just kind of blindly trusts Azriel and Matthius despite not knowing who the hell they are.
Remember the puzzle we did here last time? Previously, there was no way to get both crushers to stop - the lever only stopped one or the other. This time, it stops both at once, and you have to just kind of guess and check and hope you make it work.
Meanwhile, the game cuts to Azriel being mindwiped. Again. Also to Matthius announcing that he’s Balder… because apparently, Azriel will somehow remember this.
Kane and Sayuri rush in just a minute too late, and decide to just get out of here and cut their losses. This is the first thing anyone in this game has done that has made any fucking sense whatsoever.
They go back to the hangar bay, and the Philly Phanatic himself chimes in before starting a manual lockdown of the entire facility that will allow the doors to open only if there is an emergency. There’s a gas mask in a locker just above where Sayuri is, which she needs to take.
Sayuri then steals a convieniently-placed keycard by backtracking all the way to the second mindwipe room (where Azriel was) that mysteriously was not there the first time she came through here.
She can then use this terminal to overload the reactor, causing the entire facility to go into self-destruct mode.
That plan worked out really well for the Director. I have to wonder if they actually mindwiped him as a joke and replaced his brain with a peanut.
The game does a couple of shots of the facility where Delta Six was showing the prisoners escaping before showing the door to the Director’s office opening back up.
: “The doors are opening… that means I can go back… I can get my memory back!”
Kane futilely argues with her, and instead of doing the smart thing and just dumping her here to explode with the rest of the station, agrees to wait.
: “I-I… normally don’t like to talk to my patients face to face, but…”
: “…but… but… it appears you have made quite a mess of things.”
: " You think controlling our lives is your decision?"
: “Everything in a normal human being’s life creates who that person is, from their environment, to their friends, to their life experiences.”
: “All I’m doing is re-creating that. It’s the same thing that happens to every person who enters this world.”
: “No matter what, I can’t control everything.”
: “Do you still blame yourself for leaving Delta Six behind?”
: “Are you going to kill me?”
: “What do you think? Do I have a choice?”
There’s a choice of yes or no, the result is the same.
: “Maybe everything in my life was predetermined up to this point. Maybe someone chose my past, my life experiences, my environment.”
: “Maybe that shaped my personality into who I am and what I can and cannot do.”
: “But here I am, with this gun. I don’t have a choice, do I?”
: “What I am about to choose has already been decided by every programmed bit of my being before me.”
: “I did have a choice. But I only realized that when it was too late.”
This is the kind of shit I was skipping over. I figured I’d just let you have that little taste. Oh, and then the game cuts to Azriel.
For some reason, Azriel remembers Sayuri’s name (he trips on this as she never actually tells him this post-mindwipe) and immediately goes to save her.
Enter THE WORST gun battle in this entire goddamn game. It’s poorly programmed, buggy, complete and utter bullshit. Matthius/Balder has a set, random chance to dodge any non-headshot bullets aimed at him. I managed to kill him once only to have the game softlock.
You have to get multiple headshots on him - he takes three perfect headshots to go down, but even then the headshots may not even register.
If you can’t tell, the Director has shot Sayuri. You have exactly one second to right-click on the Director and have Azriel pull his gun and fire.
There’s also a real dickish final achievement here. You remember the memory computer? We have to access it with Azriel now for the achievement, before going to check on Sayuri.
: “Azriel. Don’t.”
Read: The game developer did not want a happy ending for any of these morons.
: “I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know my past.”
Really, Sayuri? Really? You made me go through all this stupid bullshit just so you could choose NOT to go after the memory computer, despite it being RIGHT THERE?
: “But what about me? My past?”
: “You don’t need it.”
Anyway, I’ve had enough of this shit.
Sayuri gives off another long-winded pseudo-intellectual rant to Kane about how Azriel is better off being mindwiped because “there’s something besides your memories that makes you who you are”.
Anyway, that’s the end of this godawful trainwreck of a game. Thanks for sticking with me, and I promise the next LP I do will be of a game that I don’t absolutely hate. In fact, I didn’t even know I hated this game until I got to the point where the writing stops making any goddamn sense.